Churches to get front bench in government if Raila wins
The church will have a key place in the management of the country’s affairs should presidential candidate Raila Odinga win the August 9 elections.
Raila made the pledge yesterday and stated that he recognised the vital role religious leaders play in fostering peace and harmony in the country. The Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Alliance leader said he would seek partnerships with the clergy in administrative and security issues.
“We shall form a partnership with the church in line with our aspirations for unity under the Azimio la Umoja banner. Members of the clergy play a big role in a cohesive society,” said the ODM leader.
He was addressing leaders of independent indigenous churches at Wanderjoy Grounds on Kiambu Road, accompanied by running mate Martha Karua, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, and allies Peter Kenneth and Junet Mohamed.
Preach peace ahead of polls
Raila had a message for the clerics drawn from across the country, to embrace and preach peace ahead of the August 9 elections. He also reached out to independent churches — which have a following of two million members — to back his presidential bid.
“Religious leaders, particularly the independent churches, have an integral role in the management of our political affairs owing to the special they played in the fight for our country’s independence. This cannot be gainsaid,” he added.
Regarding his choice of Karua as his running mate, Odinga said the Narc Kenya party leader was a cut above others, having participated in the country’s second liberation. He also cited her consistent stance on democracy and good governance.
“When I picked Martha, some of our competitors scoffed at me saying I had settled merely for a woman. But she is our own ‘Iron Lady’ in the league of world leaders like Britain’s Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel of Germany,” he stressed.
Saying it is time for Kenya to fully embrace the leadership of women, Odinga pointed out that some top countries that have achieved rapid development had given women a chance to lead.
He stated that an Azimio administration would ensure that it isn’t business as usual in the way government affairs are run, promising to stamp out the culture of hand-outs by politicians, which he said only goes to impoverish the people.
“Kenya was at par with Korea at independence. But today, the Asian nation’s economy is 58 times bigger than ours. If we don’t change tack, our country will still be stuck here in the next 50 years,” he said.
Karua, on her part, said Raila is a selfless fighter for justice and good governance, having spent years in imprisonment for these ideals. She asked Kenyans to give him a chance to lead the country.
“He is not driven by personal gain, unlike some people we know, as he seeks to take over the government. Be assured that Raila will bring the change that we all desire,”
Kibicho dismissed accusations by Kenya Kwanza leaders that he and some of his counterparts were involved in campaigns.
“Our responsibility is to ensure a peaceful electioneering process and transition devoid of any chaos,” he told the meeting.
The clergymen, led by bishops from various denominations including the Akorino and Dini ya Msambwa adherents, among others, called for the issuance of title deeds for pieces of land under their institutions.